Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Notley-Trudeau Pipeline Axis, Syria, Doug Ford & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List April 8 - 15

This week's list of articles, news items and opinion pieces that I see as must reads if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers.

This list covers the week of  April 8 - 15. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

This installment has two entries from before the period. It has been integrated into the post.

Sandi Toksvig, The Guardian

I recently delivered the annual Adam Smith lecture in Kirkcaldy, Fife. It was the first time a woman had been trusted to give this economics lecture all by herself. As a marvellous bagpiper led the way, it struck me that this might be my glass cliff moment. Because, let’s face it, I’m not an obvious choice for such a task. But with men now making up two-thirds of economics students, all but one of the Nobel prizewinners for economics having been a man and every single British chancellor of the exchequer somehow having been required to be a boy, then finding a woman might have been tricky.

Read the full article.

2) About the boys: Tim Winton on how toxic masculinity is shackling men to misogyny

Tom Winton, The Guardian

Yes, boys need their unexamined privilege curtailed. Just as they need certain proscribed privileges and behaviours made available to them. But the first step is to notice them. To find them worthy of our interest. As subjects, not objects. How else can we hope to take responsibility for them? And it’s men who need to step up and finally take their full share of that responsibility.

Read the full article.


Josh Lalonde, People's Voice

As the education workers’ strike at York University enters its fifth week, the mood on campus remains tense. Whereas in previous strikes in 2015 and 2008/2009, the university suspended all classes in order to preserve academic integrity, this time the administration of President Rhonda Lenton announced before the strike had even begun that “all classes that can continue, will continue”. This was a deliberate attempt to create chaos on campus, as students were unsure which of their classes were continuing, what form their suspended classes would take at the conclusion of the strike, which assignments and tests they were still responsible for, and whether their right not to cross the picket lines – recognized by the university’s Senate policy on labour disruptions – would in fact be respected by their professors. Though many departments quickly suspended classes, there are still thousands of students travelling to campus every day, leading to long waits at the picket lines and frustration that has boiled over into several violent incidents.

Read the full article.

4) Vietnamese party leader pays tribute to Ho Chi Minh

 Iramsy Peraza Forte, Granma

The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), Nguyen Phu Trong, on March 28 paid tribute to the Vietnamese revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh, in a park that bears his name in the Cuban capital.

Read the full article.

5) Caribbean Leftists Decry Lula's Arrest in Brazil


A Caribbean progressive movement called for April 12 to be “a day of solidarity with the Brazilian Workers and for the release of President Lula.”

Read the full article.

6) Brazil: Former president Lula to prison; police fire on protesters

Ben Chacko, People's World

Brazilian police attacked protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets over the weekend as former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was jailed in Curitiba.

Read the full article.

7) Doug Ford interrupted at Somali event over support for controversial police unit

Muriel Draaisma · CBC News 

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford was booed and interrupted this weekend when he told members of Toronto's Somali community that he supports resurrecting a controversial police unit disbanded in 2017.

Read the full article.

8) Doug Ford Claims He’ll Cut Costs By Firing Someone Who Does Not Even Work For the Government

Press Progress

Does Doug Ford understand how the Government of Ontario works?

Read the full article.

9) Doug Ford professes love but delivers fear and dread to the Black community

Royson James, The Toronto Star

By skipping a recent leaders’ debate, Doug Ford learned nothing and that means the Black community is as endangered as before because the absent politician is poised to become the one with the most authority to impact their lives, Royson James writes.

Read the full article.

10) Pro Cheerleaders Say Groping and Sexual Harassment Are Part of the Job

Juliet Macur and John Branch, The New York Times

In interviews with dozens of current and former cheerleaders — most from the N.F.L., but also from the N.B.A. and the N.H.L. — they described systematic exploitation by teams that profit by sending them into pregame tailgating and other gatherings where they are subjected to offensive sexual comments and unwanted touches by fans.

Read the full article.

11) Sex Trade's Female Victims: 'Spoiled Goods,' Damaged Lives

Julie Bindel, Truthdig 

The women in the bar huddle together, talking and smoking, looking bored but tense. It is a hot evening in Phnom Penh, and I am in one of the notorious sex bar areas, hoping to find out all I can about commercial sexual exploitation in the country. I have gone undercover because the sex trade, whether legal or illegal, is driven and populated by dangerous criminals, and the women being sold are vulnerable and in danger.

Read the full article.

12) Jeremy Corbyn pledges free bus travel for under-25s

BBC News

Labour says it would give under-25s in England free bus travel in areas where local councils bring services back into public ownership as the party wants.

Read the full article.

13) Bill proposed to eliminate Louisiana death penalty by August 1st

 Paul Braun & Devon Sanders, KALB

A Senate judiciary committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would eliminate the death penalty in Louisiana effective August 1.

Read the full article.

14) Louisiana Bill Aims To Hypercriminalize Pipeline Protests

The Real News

Civil rights lawyer Bill Quigley says that the legislation is driven by private oil companies who want to clamp down on environmental activists' First Amendment rights and preserve profits derived at the expense of communities of color.

Read/listen to the full interview.

15) Indians Fans Taunt, Mock, And Scream Obscenities At Native American Protesters At Home Opener

Chris Thompson, Deadspin

Indians fans insisting that Chief Wahoo isn’t meant to be disrespectful to Native Americans, and then mocking Native American protesters with that stereotyped War Cry noise. Goddamn.

Read the full article/watch the video.

16) 'Heroes In My Head': The Abortion Fight in Canada

Judy Rebick, Rabble

The 1980s was the height of the women’s movement in Canada. In addition to the battle on choice, women were fighting for pay equity, affordable and accessible child care, and gender equality under the constitution. There was already a network of rape crisis centres and shelters providing services to women and advocating for better laws and more awareness of male violence against women. Young women had established co-operative daycare centres on campuses across the country and were working to get government support.

Read the full article.

17) She was a rising voice for feminists, but she was battling the voices in her head

Judy Rebick, The Toronto Star

In a memoir about her struggles with depression and multiple personalities, Canadian activist Judy Rebick recalls how memories of childhood sexual abuse painfully surfaced in the wake of the Montreal massacre.

Read the full article.

18) After Criticizing Israel, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression Fights for Survival

The Real News

CJFE's Kevin Metcalf tells The Real News he was placed on paid leave after he drafted a statement condemning Israel's Land Day killings.

Isaac Davison, The New Zealand Herald

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is defending her Government's dramatic ban on offshore oil exploration, saying the transition to a zero-carbon economy "must start somewhere" and promising that no jobs will be lost.

 Mike De Souza & Carl Meyer, National Observer

Energy giant Kinder Morgan has blinked in the face of relentless opposition from British Columbia to its plans to build a major oil pipeline.

David J. Climenhaga, The Tyee

Corporation’s ultimatum an attack on democracy — and a way out of a project that no longer makes sense.

Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight

Alberta premier Rachel Notley has been trying to ignite some outrage via her Twitter feed after Kinder Morgan suspended nonessential expenditures on its $7.4-billion Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project.

Stewart Phillip and Serge Simon, The Globe and Mail

As the federal and Alberta governments continue to pull their hair out over the B.C. government’s stand against Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and tanker project, it’s important to point out, as we’ve been doing for years, that the pipeline company doesn’t have the consent of all First Nations along the route. In fact, many of them are strongly opposed to the project.

Read the full article.

24) Media outlets circle wagons around Justin Trudeau and Rachel Notley sloganeering about the national interest

Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight

It's been astonishing to witness national media coverage of the Kinder Morgan pipeline dispute between Alberta and B.C.

Read the full article.

25) First Nations being ‘left out’ on Kinder Morgan: Bellegarde

 Rachel Gilmore, iPolitics

Perry Bellegarde, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, warned that First Nations “are being left out of the decision-making process” when it comes to the Kinder Morgan pipeline project.

Read the full article.

26) 'Big mistake' not having Indigenous rep at key pipeline meeting: Bellegarde

Rachel Aiello, CTV News

It was a "big mistake" for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to not invite Indigenous representation to Sunday’s big pipeline meeting, according to Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde.

Read the full article.

27) Alberta, feds to team up on easing Trans Mountain risk, Notley says

The Canadian Press

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says her province and the federal government have agreed on a plan to "eliminate" investor risk surrounding the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

Read the full article.

28) School cancelled as hundreds of Colorado teachers walk out Monday

Joe St. George, Fox 31 Denver

Teacher walkouts in Kentucky, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and elsewhere have dominated the news as of late.

Now a walkout is planned for Colorado.

Read the full article.

29) Gay Edmonton woman from Uganda fears for her life after deportation notice

Julia Wong, Global News

An Edmonton woman is asking the federal government to reconsider its decision to deport her based on the fact she is a lesbian and her home country of Uganda views homosexuality as illegal.

Read the full article.

30) 12-year-old hockey player endures 6 years of racial slurs, latest tormentor suspended

Paul Palmeter, CBC News

The father of a 12-year-old Nova Scotia peewee hockey player says a boy from an opposing team has been handed a 45-day suspension after using a racial slur against his son.

Read the full article.


32) John Tory’s favoured Scarborough subway was ‘drawn on the back of a napkin’ when council chose it over LRT, critics charge

Jennifer Pagliaro, The Toronto Star

When Toronto councillors voted in July 2016 in favour of the $3.35-billion, one-stop Scarborough subway over the LRT, the information they had about its design was exaggerated by city staff, rushed by consultants and based on hand-drawn sketches.

Read the full article.

33) Avoid Gulf stream disruption at all costs, scientists warn

Damian Carrington, The Guardian

How close the world is to a catastrophic collapse of giant ocean currents is unknown, making halting global warming more critical than ever, scientists say.

Read the full article.

34) America’s Real Nigerian Prince

Mark A. Lause, The North Star

President Donald J. Trump is the spawn of the American political system and media. Those with an affinity for and confidence in that parentage—the media and the political system—have found his administration terribly disappointing, even traumatically so. The president and his revolving door team are in an ongoing process of weaving campaign rhetoric and tweets into a script, which they hope to present as policy. In keeping with his particular kind of Reality TV offers one soap opera scenario after another, without the substance of a soap opera.

Read the full article.

35) The U.S. Has Accepted Only 11 Syrian Refugees This Year

Deborah Amos, NPR

The Trump administration has condemned a suspected chemical weapons strike in Syria and is considering military action. "We are very concerned, when a thing like that can happen, this is about humanity," President Trump said earlier this week.

Read the full article.

36) Who cares if Trump’s reckless, dangerous Syria announcement is hypocritical?

Simon Maloy, Media Matters for America

This morning, the president pecked out an especially unglued Twitter tirade in which he announced that the United States would be taking military action against the Syrian government. According to Donald Trump, who very likely made this announcement because the lackwit bobbleheads on his favorite morning cable TV show were talking about Syria, his plan is to fire “nice and new and ‘smart!’” missiles as punishment for “Gas Killing Animal” Bashar Assad’s recent alleged chemical attack on the town of Douma.

Read the full article.

37) Look at Syria, and you can see all the elements that have led to world wars

Simon Jenkins, The Guardian

What on earth are we doing? I have not heard a single expert on Syria explain how dropping missiles on that country will advance the cause of peace or lead its dictator, Bashar al-Assad, to back down. It will merely destroy buildings and probably kill people. It is pure populism, reflected in the hot-and-cold rhetoric of Trump’s increasingly whimsical tweets. Heaven forbid that British policy should now, as it appears, be hanging on their every word.

Read the full article.


39) Corbyn's Letter to May
Dear Prime Minister,
I want to thank you for speaking to me last night regarding the bombing raids in Syria overnight, and for the security briefing you shared.
I am very glad that all British military personnel have returned home safely, and hope too that there have been no civilian casualties in Syria.
As I said I believe that Parliament should have been consulted and voted on the matter. The UK Prime Minister is accountable to Parliament, not to the whims of a US President.
I believe the action was legally questionable, and this morning the UN Secretary General has said as much, reiterating that all countries must act in line with the UN Charter. You assured me that the Attorney General had given clear legal advice approving the action. I would therefore be grateful if you would publish this advice in full today.
Given that neither the UN nor the OPCW has yet investigated, it is clear that diplomatic and non-military means have not been fully exhausted.
It is now vitally important that the OPCW inspectors, who are due to arrive in Douma today, are allowed to do their work and publish their report into their findings – and report to the United Nations Security Council.
I would therefore welcome your assurance that there will be no further bombing raids while OPCW inspectors are on the ground. They must be allowed to complete their inspections without hindrance.
Acting through the United Nations, I believe Britain should now take a diplomatic lead to negotiate a pause in this abhorrent conflict in which hundreds of thousands of Syrians have already been killed and millions displaced. The refugee crisis places a responsibility on all countries and I the government will now increase its commitment to take additional refugees. Hundreds of unaccompanied children remain in Europe and the UK must do more through the Dubs amendment.This means engaging with all parties that are involved in the conflict – including Iran, Israel, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the US – to ensure there is an immediate ceasefire. We have the grotesque spectacle of a wider geopolitical proxy battle being waged with the Syrian people used as pawns by all sides.
I would welcome your assurance that Britain will embark on renewed diplomatic efforts to end this conflict. Our only priority must be the safety and security of the Syrian people – which is best served by de-escalating this conflict, so that aid can get in.
Yours sincerely,
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Leader of the Opposition

40) Congress Needs to Cancel Trump’s Blank Check for War

John Nichols, The Nation

Paul Ryan may be winding down his tragic tenure as Donald Trump’s sycophantic speaker of the House, but that does not mean Congress will automatically reassert itself as a coequal branch of government—especially when it comes to matters of war and peace. Members of the chamber will need to act affirmatively on behalf of the rule of law, and the system of checks and balances that maintains it, in order to reestablish the role of Congress in this vital sphere. And they need to move quickly.

Read the full article.

41) Theresa May faces anger over Syria raids as Trump declares ‘mission accomplished’

Toby Helm, Martin Chulov, Sabrina Siddiqui and Michael Savage, The Guardian

Theresa May is facing a furious backlash from MPs after she ordered UK forces to join the US and France in targeted airstrikes on Syrian chemical weapons facilities – without having gained the consent of parliament.

Read the full article.

See also: Gaza Massacre, Jewdas, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List April 1 - 8

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